Manipur : Normal Life Affected In Shutdown; Imposed Across Hill Districts 

 

  • NET Web Desk

Vehicular movement along Imphal-Dimapur (NH-2) and Imphal-Jiribam (NH37) highways in Manipur has been severely disrupted on Thursday, owing to the 24-hour shutdown imposed across the hill districts of the northeastern state.

The shutdown has been called by the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) and supported by other tribal students’ unions, demanding the tabling of the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill, 2021 in the state Assembly.

The bandh practically commenced on Tuesday, after some ATSUM leaders, including it’s president were arrested that day.

The shutdown began at 6 PM on Wednesday, and minimal attendance was reported in government offices and educational institutions remained closed in Ukhrul and Senapati districts.

In Kangpokpi district, the Kuki Students Organization (KSO), which is spearheading the shutdown there, only allowed passengers who have medical emergencies to pass the highway after checking the records concerned. They prevented goods laden trucks coming from Guwahati from moving to Imphal.

However, the Churachandpur police arrested five leaders of Young Paite Association (YPA) after they were found to be government employees.

The Churachandpur Superintendent of Police (SP) in a letter to the Principal Secretary (Home) informed that on going through the YPA member list, it was found that some members were government employees and have supported ATSUM’s “unlawful activity”.

In a letter addressed to the Principal Secretary (Home), the Churachandpur Superintendent of Police (SP) informed that after reviewing the YPA member list, it was discovered that some members were government officials who had supported ATSUM’s “illegal action.”

In addition, the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) of Imphal West had remanded five ATSUM leaders to four days’ police custody on the charge of conspiring to impose economic blockade in the state’s hilly regions.

As per a statement issued by the student leaders, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was inked between the state administration and ATSUM, mentioning that the Bill will be tabled and discussed in the winter session of the Assembly in 2021.

“The govt failed to abide by the pact,” it said adding other means of intense agitation would be pursued after the bandh.